Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Muffin Knight from Guerrilla Bob developer Angry Mob Games is not exactly the most original game ever made. It puts players in an arena, with the goal being to collect as many muffins as possible, while trying not to be killed by the enemies that roam each level. Each time a muffin is collected, players change into another random character with a different weapon, from archers that can shoot in both directions, bears that attack from up close, and a unicorn that, shall we say, "drops" land mines. Each enemy and muffin collected gets experience for the player, and each level up gets a point that goes toward character upgrades, new perks, and even extra lives.
If this sounds like PC and upcoming iOS game Super Crate Box with muffins instead of crates, and RPG elements instead of simple high-scoring elements, well, ding ding ding! This game is very much influenced by Vlambeer's Super Crate Box. In the wake of the Ninja Fishing/Radical Fishing fiasco, this could have been a similarly huge controversy, but Super Crate Box developer Vlambeer has dismissed it by stating that they feel the games are different enough. While some elements like weapons are very similar if not identical, there are at least original levels, and this game's killer feature: multiplayer.
This multiplayer mode, which is currently only officially supported over local wifi, pits two players in one arena, trying to collect more muffins than the other player. It is possible for players to die in this mode, and if the person who is trailing in muffin count dies, then the leader automatically wins. If the leader dies, then the other player can try to stay alive until they collect more muffins, lest they die trying. What's most remarkable about this multiplayer, beyond that it allows players to collect experience toward their characters with a 20% bonus, is that it works between iOS and Android devices. There's no special hassle or setup, just one device with a copy of the game creating a server, and another joining the discovered server, no matter which version is playing which version, even if it's an iPod touch versus an Android tablet.
While the gameplay is great for pick up and play sessions, and the multiplayer is similarly addictive for its competitive elements, the game does have some issues. The multiplayer is currently only local wifi, for example, and doesn't appear to support Bluetooth. The controls, while able to be rearranged, are very loose, and make it easy for buttons to accidentally be pressed, which is bad when walking toward an enemy instead of away from them, since one hit means death.
While those who fell squarely on the side of Vlambeer in the Ninja Fishing/Radical Fishing debacle will likely be disgusted by Muffin Knight, there's still an original art theme, engrossing RPG elements, and the fun multiplayer as well. While Super Crate Box will be hitting iOS soon, this is a worthwhile entry in this genre, and very addictive.